Julie Harrington takes the reins as BHA CEO

Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of British Cycling, has been selected as the new head of the British Racing Authority, effective as of 4 January 2021.

In addition to working for British Cycling, Harrington is also a former member of the BHA Board and was a senior executive with Northern Racing for eight years, having also served as the Managing Director of Uttoxeter racecourse.

Commenting on her appointment, Harrington said: “I’m so excited to be coming home to racing and playing my part helping this great sport to achieve a prosperity from which everyone benefits. I know how important collaboration across racing has been over the past few months and I look forward to working with colleagues from all parts of the sport.

“The BHA and its team of dedicated officials do a great job in keeping racing safe, clean and fair. I am proud to take on this leadership role in such a well-regulated sport, which enriches the lives of horses and people, and has a special place at the centre of national life and our rural communities.”

Harrington joins the company after four years leading British Cycling, which has more than 160,000 grassroots members and is responsible for the elite team preparing for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

During her time at British Cycling, Harrington’s role has included engaging with UK Sport and Sport England over elite funding and growing participation, achieving its target for more than two million cyclists by 2020.

Current BHA CEO Nick Rust will continue to lead the BHA as it works with industry bodies on resumption and recovery from the impacts of the pandemic.

BHA Chair, Annamarie Phelps, said: “I am delighted that Julie is coming back to the BHA and to racing and the Board and I are looking forward to working closely with her. This is a vital leadership role for the organisation and British racing.

“Julie’s hands-on knowledge of horseracing, coupled with her governance and business experience, make her the ideal person to carry on with the task of restoring sustainable prosperity after the COVID crisis. We’ve got the right person, for the right job, at the right time.”

“Nick and his team are working closely with the RCA and The Horsemen’s Group to get racing through the next phase of COVID19, to bring back the public, and support our owners and investors in the sport. There’ll be no let-up over the coming months and the sport will see a seamless transition to our new CEO.

“I want to thank all those at the BHA and the industry bodies who are working so hard and I’m confident that racing will continue to lead the way towards a full resumption of sport.”

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